Does Abstinence Increase Sperm Count?

You probably think you need to have sex more often when planning to start a family with your partner. That seems to make sense, because the more you have sex, the more chances you have to conceive. You’ve probably wondered if ejaculating more increases sperm count, and your overall chances of becoming a parent, but does it really increase the odds of conception? 

Evidence would suggest otherwise. It takes time for sperm to mature, and just because you’re having a lot of sex, that doesn’t mean you’re producing a lot of sperm. So, does abstinence increase sperm count? 

It can all seem a bit confusing, but once you understand the underlying science, it becomes far simpler. And you will understand it when you read our guide to how abstinence affects sperm volume, below. We dispelled the myths, and examined the facts, in plain language that’s simple and clear. 

What this article covers:

Does Abstinence Boost Sperm Count?

So, does abstinence increase sperm volume? The short answer is, yes, it does, but that’s not the whole story. Abstinence has both pros and cons, and you need to be aware of both to effectively boost your sperm count.

Firstly, when we say abstinence, we don’t mean not having sex at all, or hardly ever having sex. While that’s what the word implies, that’s not what we’re advocating. Total or almost total abstinence is, in fact, bad for you. Here’s why.

The Downside of Abstinence

When you abstain from sex completely, or for very long periods, you don’t increase your odds of conception. You increase other odds – the risk of erectile dysfunction or prostate problems. 

Other negative effects of long-term abstinence in men that have been reported include loss of libido, increased stress, and even a weakened immune system. Evidence is not plentiful for the latter, but long-term abstinence will surely increase your stress levels if sex used to be your go-to for stress relief.

Living without sex long-term is a risk factor for developing these issues, and if you develop erectile dysfunction issues, you’ll struggle to maintain an erection to have sex. That’s not helpful when trying to make a baby. So denying yourself the pleasure of sex for a long time, to conceive, is not sensible.

So, what do we mean when we talk about ‘abstinence’ increasing sperm count? When we say that abstinence increases sperm count, what we mean is spacing out your ejaculations. So, if you and your partner are trying to conceive, don’t cum too often. But, why not? 

The Upside of Spacing Out Ejaculations 

Unless you suffer from a condition that prevents sperm production the average guy has sperm in every drop of semen.  The sperm cell’s job is to fertilize that egg cell. Then fertilization can take place, but most of those little swimmers don’t make it to the female’s egg cell. 

If they don’t make it there, conception doesn’t take place. To increase the odds, nature ensures that there’s more than enough sperm to do the job. Millions, in fact. You need at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen to ensure pregnancy. 

That’s why increasing your sperm count is necessary when you’re planning to start a family, but there’s another factor at play; sperm maturation. Your sperm takes 50-60 days to develop in your testicles, and then a further 14 days to fully mature in the ducts behind your testicles. 

So, although the average guy produces about 290 million sperm cells in a day, it takes time for them to fully develop, and when you cum, it takes a while to reload semen and the sperm in it. So spacing out your ejaculations makes sense when you want to increase your semen volume and your sperm count.

Does Masturbation Count?

Yes, it counts! Your body doesn’t know the difference. Whether you cum during partnered sex or more solo pursuits, the result is the same. And if you and your partner are trying to make a baby, any ejaculation from masturbation will be a waste of sperm. 

You have to wait a little while before you can get an erection again. You also have to build up stores of sperm before the next time you ejaculate again. Note that this doesn’t apply if you and your partner engage in sexual stimulation that doesn’t lead to an orgasm and ejaculation. 

That’s one way of maintaining closeness, while still spacing out your loads. Pleasure doesn’t always have to result in ejaculation. The same is true of stimulating yourself but not allowing yourself to cum. 

The main point to take away here is this: Cum too often, and you’ll have less semen, and therefore less sperm, for conception. But, how often is too often? 

How Often Should You Have Sex to Optimize Conception?

To conceive, you need to have regular sex, but to increase your supply of semen and sperm, you need to space out your ejaculations. What this means, practically, is that you shouldn’t have sex several times a day. You don’t need to have sex multiple times a day, or even every day, to conceive.

You do, however, need to have sex consistently for your health and conception. Every second or third day is usually the recommended frequency for couples trying to conceive, but don’t be fooled into thinking that conception will be instantaneous. This is a mistake that many couples make.

It can take six months to a full year to conceive, even under ideal conditions. Most couples are only referred to a fertility specialist after a year of trying without results. Some things just take time, but if you want to increase your chances, this variation on abstinence may be one way to do it. 

Do All Men Increase Their Sperm Count Through Abstinence?

This is where it gets interesting. A scientific study was done on this topic. Men with normal or high sperm counts had even higher sperm counts (and therefore higher odds of conception) by waiting a day or two. 

But those men who had low sperm counts had bigger problems after two days of abstinence. That’s because their sperm motility(movement) and quality went down drastically. This means that abstinence does increase sperm count, but is beneficial for men with normal or high sperm counts, to begin with. 

It seems that men who have low sperm counts or inferior sperm quality will not increase their chances of conception through abstinence. Quite the opposite might happen. It’s hard to say if the benefit of every-other-day sex can truly apply to these men, and research has produced conflicting views.

However, there’s hope for men with low sperm counts. You don’t need to abstain from sex or take prescription medications that increase sperm count. There are far easier and less costly ways in which men can increase their sperm count, as well as their sperm quality.

7 Tips to Increase Sperm Count

There are other ways to include sperm count, and they don’t require abstinence from sex. Rather, they advocate abstaining from unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. 

This type of abstinence will increase your sperm volume and your health in general. All the tips below will not only increase your sperm volume and quality but also boost your sex life. 

Men who are fit and healthy enjoy more frequent and better sex. While men make sperm even into their golden years, the quantity and quality can drop dramatically, but even mature men can enjoy better sex lives and better conception odds by improving their general health.

Tip # 1 Avoid Junk Food

Does abstinence increase sperm volume? It does, when you abstain from junk food. Stop clogging and littering your organs with fast foods and processed foods, and eat healthily instead. Many foods increase sperm count, and most of them are delicious.

Eat good sources of protein like grass-fed meats and eggs. Consume more fruits and vegetables. Do almonds increase sperm count? Yes! So, snack on nuts instead of crisps. And if you simply must have a sweet taste, make it dark chocolate. Maybe even consider pineapple pills for sperm health. 

Here are the most important nutrients that you need for good sperm count and sperm quality:

  • Antioxidants – found in pomegranates, berries, and nuts
  • Bromelain – found in bananas and pineapples
  • L-Arginine HCL – found in dark chocolate and turkey breast
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – found in walnuts, chia seeds, and brussels sprouts
  • Selenium – is found in tuna, oysters, pork, beef, chicken, tofu, mushrooms, and garlic
  • Vitamin B6 – is found in organ meats, potatoes, and starchy vegetables
  • Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) – is found in crab meat, lamb shank, Atlantic salmon, avocados, and eggs
  • Vitamin C – is found in guavas, kiwi fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and asparagus
  • Vitamin E – is found in almonds, sunflower seeds, trout, and shrimp
  • Zinc – is found in oysters, beef tenderloin, and pumpkin seeds 

Tip # 2 Stop Being a Couch Potato

Does abstinence increase sperm volume? It does, when you abstain from a sedentary lifestyle. Get off the couch, and into the gym. Exercise is good for your general health, as well as your reproductive health. It boosts your male sex hormone, testosterone. This hormone is essential for sperm production.

So, you don’t have to take testosterone supplements for your sperm count. Work out, instead. If your career schedule currently doesn’t allow for sessions at the gym, get some home gym equipment. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or go for walks on the beach or in the park, on weekends.

Exercise is also the best way to lose weight, and that’s crucial if you are overweight and trying to conceive. Losing weight can increase sperm count, and also lower your risk of several chronic illnesses. 

Tip # 3 Lower Your Stress Levels

Does abstinence increase sperm volume? It does when you abstain from stressing out! We understand that dress is hard to avoid. It’s part and parcel of daily life for most people, but it doesn’t have to be a detrimental hindrance to your sexual health.

You don’t always get to choose the stressful events that happen, life does that for you sometimes, but you do get to choose how you react to those stressful events. Exercise, meditation, and even a hobby can be healthy ways to alleviate the effects of stress in your life. Of course, sex is an exceptional, time-honored stress reliever, too.

Tip # 4 Stay Hydrated

The amount of fluids you consume throughout the day impacts the amount of semen you ejaculate. Most of your semen is made of water, as is most of your body! And if you’re dehydrated, you’ll produce less bodily fluids, including semen. But that means your sperm count will be lower, too. 

You may be dehydrated and not even know it, but this is an easy fix. Simply ensure that you stay hydrated. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, and always have some water (or even a sports drink) after your gym workout. 

Tip # 5 Take Supplements for Sperm Health

Many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients have been identified as crucial for the development of sperm. While it’s always best to get your nutrients from your diet, that is not always possible. If you’re not eating a healthy diet, get the nutrients you need from high-quality supplements. 

And no, we don’t mean those suspicious herbs to increase sperm count you’ve seen online. Many of them just don’t deliver results. Take the supplement trusted by countless men to increase semen volume. It’s called Semenax. But unlike the dodgy supplements to increase sperm count, this works.

Your semen is the fluid your sperm gets transported in. So if you want to increase your sperm count, you need to increase your semen volume. Semenax pills will increase your semen volume, with noticeable results in as little as two weeks. There are no side-effects, and no need for abstinence.

Semenax is all-natural too, so it’s the perfect complement to a healthy lifestyle. 

Tip # 6 Stop Smoking

Does abstinence increase sperm volume? Yes, if you abstain from smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. But if you do, try to quit. 

Smoking is a major contributor to many illnesses, and it no longer has the social acceptance it once did. So do yourself a favor. Cut back on cigarettes and other tobacco products. 

Research has shown that smoking leads to a more than 23% reduction of sperm in semen. That will severely reduce your chances of conception. Besides, you don’t want to expose your newborn baby to second-hand smoke either. Second-hand smoke can be even more detrimental than smoking itself!

Tip # 7 Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption

Does abstinence increase your sperm count? Yes, if you abstain from alcohol. Many guys like to unwind at the end of a long workday with an alcoholic drink. And what would the weekend be like without watching a game and knocking back a few beers, right?

However, excessive alcohol consumption can be a sign of a deeper problem. If you’re drinking excessively, to escape your problems, or because you’re under a lot of stress, you can always seek help. 

Excessive alcohol intake reduces sperm quantity and quality. It prevents the body from absorbing zinc, a vital nutrient in sperm. Zinc increases testosterone levels, and aids erections. It also improves the quality of sperm DNA, but a lack of zinc causes watery semen and poor-quality sperm. 

Alcoholism causes social difficulties, relationship problems, and an increased risk of chronic diseases. Talk to a counselor or therapist if you want to stop drinking, but can’t.

The Role of Your Partner’s Reproductive Cycle in Conception

No matter how much sperm you produce, and how much sex you have, there has to be an egg cell to fertilize! That’s of great importance in the planning stages of starting a family. And to understand how it works, we need to look at the female fertile window.

When a woman ovulates, about once a month, her ovaries release an egg cell. The female fertile window is around 6 days long and includes the day of ovulation plus five days.  This is because sperm can live in the female reproductive system for up to five days before the egg cell is released. 

This ovulation day occurs midway through the female menstrual cycle. Most women have a 28-day cycle, although there can be variations. Taking the onset of her menstrual period as day one, the mid-way point would be on day fourteen. So to maximize your chances of conception, you need to have sex from day nine of her cycle.

In men with normal or high sperm counts, having sex that leads to ejaculation inside their partner every other day during this fertile window will increase the odds of a pregnancy. However, as the study we mentioned earlier showed, the same isn’t true of men with low sperm counts. In those cases, men can boost their chances by having sex daily during the fertile window. Increased opportunities to conceive are key when sperm volume is low.  

How Can You Know if You Have a Low Sperm Count?

Unfortunately, there’s no way for you to know without consulting a doctor. If you’ve been trying to start a family for a year and nothing has happened, you should both go and have your fertility checked by a specialist. 

The only way to know what your sperm count is, and what the quality and motility of your sperm are, is to run accurate diagnostics and have medical tests done. Don’t worry, these tests and procedures are non-invasive. Your semen sample will be analyzed under a microscope in a lab and the results will indicate whether your sperm level is sufficient for conception. They may even help you better your overall health too.

Remember, though, that it only takes one enthusiastic little swimmer among your sperm cells to get to that egg and fertilize it. And that’s good news for guys with lower sperm counts because it means that they still have a fighting chance.


Having a high sperm count will improve your odds of conception, but does abstinence increase sperm count? Only if you do it right, and if your sperm count is on the higher end of the scale, to begin with. Men with lower sperm counts won’t benefit from abstinence. In fact, it may even lead to more frustration and potentially other health problems if you’re already struggling with a lower sperm count.
However, there are countless ways in which all men can improve their semen volume and sperm count. So, to boost your chances of conception, make the necessary lifestyle changes in our tips above. Not only will they increase your sperm volume, your overall health with thank you for it too.

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About Thomas Arkenis

Avatar photoThomas is a natural health enthusiast and our resident journalist. He's an avid contributor to various traditional medicine conferences and forums, Thomas stays on top of the latest industry trends to bring you the latest product and ingredient innovations.

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